Blackadder cherishes a special night
By Tim Brimblecombe
July 16, 2000
All Black captain Todd Blackadder was like a kid at the fair for the first time when he arrived at Sydney's imposing Stadium Australia for Saturday night's Tri Nations clash against Australia.
A few hours later he left the stadium still amazed - not so much by the Olympic Games facilities but the way in which his side had just scored a remarkable 39-35 victory against the Wallabies.
The inspirational and humble leader knew the Wallabies would bounce back after trailing 24-0 after just seven minutes.
"It's the first time I've ever played in one of these Bledisloe Cup and Tri Nations matches, and to look at the stadium on the way in, all the people, all the car parks ...you could fit the whole of Christchurch in here," Blackadder said.
"It was a dream start for us, the boys were on fire. But we knew the Australians were a great side, they are the world champions, and they weren't going to lie down.
"It was a great occasion, a truly great game of rugby. It was a game that was in the balance all the way to the end and could have gone either way."
Former captain Taine Randell, who played one of his best games in All Black colours at blindside flanker, joined the chorus of superlatives describing the encounter as one of the best Test ever.
Randell through the final, overhead pass for Jonah Lomu to score the match-winning try.
"Irrespective of what's happened in the past, this was a great game to be part of. It was a great occasion and boy was it great to win."
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John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September